Best Furniture Paint Reviewed 2020

best furniture paint

A wonderful piece of wooden furniture can really bring a room together, whether it’s an ornate rustic table, a minimalist set of drawers, a particularly stylish coffee table… the list goes on. But, like everything, these things absorb the wear and tear of daily life over time, turning what was once the star attraction for a room into nothing more than a background extra.

Wood gets dulled and can look sad and tired if left untreated. Naturally, one of the easiest ways to renew plain wooden furniture is a quick sanding and a lick of varnish. But what if you want to take it a step further? What if you have something to upcycle, perhaps a charity shop bargain that needs a little TLC?

Furniture paint can truly bring your wooden pieces back to life, from chairs to tables to wardrobes. What’s more, there are so many options out there for you to choose from nowadays, making it easier than ever to capture the essence of your personality in something as simple as paint. Read on for our rundown of the best choices for wooden furniture paint out there today.

NameFinishCoverageDry TimeCost
Rainbow Shabby Chic Chalk PaintChalk12 m2 /l1 hours££
GraceMary Chalk & Clay PaintChalk10 m2 /l0.5 hours££
Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish PaintChalk14 m2 /l1 hours££
Rustins Small Job Satin PaintSatin12 m2 /l0.5 hours£
Johnstone’s Revive Chalky PaintChalk12 m2 /l0.5 hours££
Rust-Oleum Painter’s TouchSatin6 m2 /l2 hours£££
Dulux Quick Dry SatinwoodSatin12 m2 /l6 hours££
Johnstone’s Quick Dry SatinSatin12 m2 /l2 hours£

Rainbow Shabby Chic Chalk Paint

This furniture paint by Rainbow Chalk paints is available in an array of different colours, 34 in total. The colours range from antique bronze all the way to duck egg blue so you are bound to find one you’ll like. It can be used on indoor and outdoor furniture for creating great looking chairs, tables and more.

It is a water-based paint meaning you can apply with a brush or a roller. If you want to get for that distressed look, simply add two coats and sand in areas once the paint is dry which takes around an hour. You won’t need to prime the surface before painting, just make sure the object is clean and dust-free. Ideally, the wood should be sanded before applying the paint for a long-lasting finish.

Pros

  • Colour options
  • No priming
  • Long lasting

Cons

  • Small tins

GraceMary Chalk & Clay Paint

GraceMary Chalk & Clay Paint

Not as well known as some brand but that’s because they specialise in chalk and clay paints. You’ll be able to pick from 34 different colours to make your furniture unique. You’ll only need to do one coat of paint due to pigment of the paint being more than 40% chalk meaning great coverage.

The paint also drys in no time, well 30 minutes! It’s eco friendly and designed to eliminate those nasty brush stroke marks you get when applying paint with a brush instead of a roller. It’s a great paint if you want to give your furniture that shabby chic look, whether that be your dining table or a dresser!

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Colour options
  • High chalk ratio
  • Safety standards

Cons

  • Small tins

Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Paint

Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Paint

Rust-Oleum have made a name for themselves for making paint that lasts, so you can expect a hardwearing paint. Great for use on chairs and tables which are used a lot. There are over 30 colours to pick from so you won’t be stuck for choice!

The paint has no odour and has the best coverage of all furniture paints reviewed at 14 m2/l. A good pick if you have large pieces of furniture to paint or lots of items. It is only meant for indoor use so not recommended to paint your garden furniture in. It is available in different size tins so you don’t have to overbuy if you only have something small to paint such a chair.

Pros

  • No odour
  • Colour options
  • Great coverage

Cons

  • Interior only

Rustins Small Job Satin Paint

Rustins Small Job Satin Paint

Available in 6 bold and vivid shades (for the satin finish, other finishes available), the Small Job Satin Paint from British-based brand Rustins is an excellent value choice for bringing a vibrant pop of colour into any furniture decoration project. The Small Job moniker refers to the fact that the tin’s 250ml volume might not be enough to re-cover an entire room, but will comfortably renovate some ailing furniture for excellent value.

The water-based formula has multiple advantages for the application of the paint. For one, it’s very quick drying which is ideal for smaller projects. Additionally, it’s low-odour, and is ultimately very hard-wearing. Rustins also highlight how the paint meets safety standards for toys, making it a great choice should you wish to spruce up some children’s toys.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Colour options
  • Low odour
  • Safety standards

Cons

  • Colours may be over-vibrant

Johnstone’s Revive Chalky Paint

Johnstone's Revive Chalky Paint

If you’re looking for a slightly different finish that channels the vintage and/or shabby chic look that’s popular nowadays, but still want some gorgeous pastel tones, then Johnstone’s Chalky furniture paint might be the answer. It can be bought in 4 different muted yet distinctive shades, which once paired with a finishing wax will stay vivid for years to come.

The quick-drying formula makes it touch-dry in a staggering 30 minutes, combined with a low odour formula to take a significant chunk of waiting time out of your projects. The paint itself is easy to apply (with a splash of water mixed in beforehand) and low odour to keep it easy to use, and represents good value for money with a good volume for a moderate price.

Pros

  • Pretty, distinctive finish
  • Colour options
  • Low odour

Cons

  • Needs separate finishing wax

Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch

Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch

With seven gorgeous different colourways in the Painter’s Touch range from Rust-Oleum, which also includes a selection of both gloss and satin finishes, this is an excellent option for household painting projects. The objective behind the name was to offer a more specialist paint, but equally one that would be versatile enough for multiple applications.

As a multi-purpose paint it could also be used to jazz up metal and ceramic surfaces, but wood is where it figuratively and literally shines. It requires a lighter touch to get the perfect finish, and is best used with a brush. Should a second coat be needed, leave it a couple of hours, but the paint will still be touch dry in around an hour, making it ideal for smaller projects. It’s a smaller tin, and while there are better value paints it’s still not especially pricey for a paint as fit for purpose as this is.

Pros

  • High quality
  • Versatile
  • Good colour options

Cons

  • Middling value

Dulux Quick Dry Satinwood

Dulux Quick Dry Satinwood

Take the hassle out of brightening up your wooden furniture pieces with this versatile, quick-drying satin paint from Dulux. The nature of the white will leave you between matt and glossy shades, bringing bright modernity to your furniture of choice with its mid-sheen finish.

The paint itself is a water-based formula, which allows the paint to be touch dry in one hour and fully dry in 6. Low odour levels are also a common characteristic of water-based paint, which this demonstrates capably, and has a non-drip formula to boot for maximum painting ease. It’s also a very hard-wearing paint, so for wooden objects around the house that get a lot of use, it should still be tough enough and will stay white without yellowing for a very long time.

Pros

  • Quick drying
  • Easy to use
  • Long-lasting
  • Great finish

Cons

  • Relatively thin

Johnstone’s Quick Dry Satin

Johnstone's Quick Dry Satin

This quick-dry formula, water-based satin paint from Johnstone’s aims to make decorating projects quicker and easier. Touch dry in a couple of hours maximum, you can spruce up your furniture and still have time to get on with your day., so even if a couple of coats are needed you’re never going to be waiting more than a couple of hours between coats. A water base also makes it straightforward to clean so even the furniture getting lots of use can stay brighter for longer.

Johnstone’s offer 10 different shades in the spectrum of bold but neutral household colours. The colour selection is sure to offer up the right balance with the rest of your room’s scheme, with a subtle shine and class thanks to the satin finish.

Pros

  • Quick dry formula
  • Easy to clean
  • Hard-wearing
  • Good colour selection

Cons

  • On the thin side

Which Wood Furniture Paint To Go For?

Everything in the home needs a spruce up once in a while. The right paint for the job will help you to do just that, and there are paints better suited to certain jobs than others. When it comes to reviving your wooden furniture, there can be a wealth to choose from and it can be hard to know what to go for. However, fear not, as we’ve done the hard work for you and rounded up the best overall wooden future paint, as well as the best value option.

Best Furniture PaintRust-Oleum Painter’s Touch stands out as the best option for livening up wooden furniture. It’s a great offering that comes in a range of colours and finishes to suit any project, but also stands out with its high quality and versatility.

Best Value – For value, look no further than Rustins Small Job Satin Paint. It meets that old adage of small and mighty – it’s a fantastic quality paint, at a very low price, with some vibrant colours that make it tough to disregard.

Furniture Paint FAQ

How to paint furniture

For any piece of wooden furniture, the first step is to thoroughly clean and sand the surface that needs painting (stripping previous paint if necessary), to ensure a smooth surface to paint onto. If a primer is necessary (see your paint’s instructions), apply that first before applying as many coats as recommended/as you think it necessary. Also make sure to leave plenty of time between coats to dry, and keep areas well-ventilated until you’re certain everything’s dry.

How to remove paint from wooden furniture

You’ve got three choices to remove paint from wood; heaters/heat guns which soften paint to allow for easy scraping. This option is good because it produces very little dust, but may instead produce fumes, and there’s a risk of charring your wood. Next is chemical stripping, which can often be good for awkward or hard-to-reach spots but can be messy, smelly and a little slow. Finally, you can sand all the old paint away. Make sure you’re connected to a vacuum cleaner if doing so inside, because there’s a lot of dust to contend with.

How to paint distressed furniture

Firstly, calm it down. Then, follow the steps you would normally to paint something wooden – what’s different are a handful of extra steps. Depending on your preference, you can paint two layers of differently coloured paint. When the second layer is touch-dry (but not fully), use a clean, damp rag to distress the areas. Alternatively, you can wait until the top coat is fully dry and use high-grit sandpaper to distress. After either method, apply a top coat of something protective.

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